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Discussion Starter #1
Car was in the shop a week ago. The catalytic converter was rattling so the exhaust was dropped out to remedy that. In the process, the wire to the overheat sensor that exists on Japanese market cars broke, resulting in the dash light being activated. When I picked up the car, the seatbelt chime was not working and the overheat dash light was activated.

I unscrewed the front bezel for the lamp and removed the bulb, solving that problem... I didn't look for the seatbelt chime fix, because it was plain annoying and I wear a belt all the time anyway.

The car sat all week and when I tried to start it this morning, I didn't even get dash panel lights. Nothing. Battery might as well be disconnected. The headlights were not left on...

So it would seem that something is draining the battery. My first suspicion was that it has to do with the exhaust overheat light. I'm wondering if it might not go off with the ignition? Could there be a relay that was left active that week? I don't know how those lights are meant to work... whether the light would stay on even when the ignition is shut off, if there was danger of a grass fire (the purpose of the light I understand). I.E., activated by temperature independent of the state of the ignition. Ideas, or does anyone have a wiring diagram for the Japanese model?
 

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How about the interior light(s)? They have three positions - auto (on with door open), always off & always on. It is common for the light to get bumped (the light cover acts as the swtch) and be left in the 'always on' position.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
How about the interior light(s)? They have three positions - auto (on with door open), always off & always on. It is common for the light to get bumped (the light cover acts as the swtch) and be left in the 'always on' position.
Hmm, good thought. I've never seen an interior light function in this car and never even realized they exist. I'll look around tonight, but I somehow suspect they don't function.
 

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I put "courtesy light" into the search field and found a few threads that might be helpful to you:

dead battery problem

helpful hint

footlight modification

Plus, it seems that in addition to the footwell light sticking on, the light timer relay could be a problem. See if it feels warm even after the doors have been closed for a while. It is located at the top of the fuse box - the fuse box being above your left knee (assuming LHD).

Item N10 in the sketch below.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Good links, thanks. I found my problem and it was exactly what was described here... the interior light in the passenger side footwell. It had been kicked to the 'on' position. It doesn't work via the door at all, so I had never seen it illuminated before (didn't even know it was there).

I told my mechanic what I'd found and he had a good laugh. He had no idea the light existed either... it might have taken a while to track that one done in the daylight...!
 

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I've been bitten by just exactly that courtesy light issue. The passenger footwell light was kicked and set to "on" position and it then proceeded to drain the battery in a very inconsiderate and sneaky fashion. I eventually got some DeOxit spray and cleaned up the contacts in the door switches so that the courtesy lights come on properly (must set the courtesy lights themselves properly, too, as I recall) and now the car works very well. Apart from a problem which may be distributor related, anyway, as detailed in another thread here.

Michael
 

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Discussion Starter #9
The light is one of those rectangular rocker lamps, where the lens is the actual rocker switch. Maybe three inches long? If you sit in the passenger seat and feel around at the bottom of the dash around the middle of your seating position, you should find it. My car is in storage, so can't come up with a photo easily... but it's not hard to find.

Hope this helps!
 

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On an S4 and monopod S3's they're where Brock describes, but on the dual pod cars they, if present as not all were, are located in the sides of the console tunnel~cover panels just about where your knee would hit when sitting in the seat.
 

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^
You're awesome! Thanks! And is that a drawing of an S2, S3, or S4? I can confirm that my driver side does not have a footwell light as described in your image.

My Spider is in storage for the time being so I'm going to check on Thursday. If the light is in fact triggered on, is it easily visible? I'm going to throw the battery back on after having it sit on the battery tender. I went the distance and took the alternator out to see if it was faulty. Surely enough, it was pretty new and still very good. I guess I'm going to have to figure out what is the root cause of my electrical gremlins. :(

Edit: Anyways, I've finally decided to become a Gold Subscriber. :D
 

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Yes, it's easy to see if one or both are indeed on if you're not out in a bright light to begin with, though for the sake of argument, you'll want to deliberately check both sides as one can be set correctly, off, or even blown while the one on the other side is happily illuminating away just out of your feild of view.

For giggles you can check to see if the ignition switch is illuminated also as several versions did indeed have a tiny light built in. (best seen by looking directly into the keyhole in dim to no light)

If present, it's tied to the same timer and harness bits as the curtesy lamps and will act the same as they do regarding the door being open or closed and on the timer, but you cannot turn it off like you can the curtesy lights. So if it's present (it may not be) and on all the time, there's a chance the timer has gone goofy, there's a wire that's out of place, or, the door switch has failed and is keeping a constant circut regardless of door position or timer. (the door switches act as the ground point: door open, ground connected, lights come on. Door closed, ground disconnected, lights go off with timer)
 
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